DIY Vanilla Extract

Here's one of my favourites from the archives {while my harddrive gets reformatted ... Boo}. There's no limit to what you can do with vanilla extract, and it's one of those things that is much, much cheaper to make yourself.
  • The flavour's beautiful, and enhances muffinsloaves, and toasted muesli.
  • You can dab a bit on pulse points as a quick, natural perfume.
  • Rumour has it that mosquitoes aren't fond of vanilla ... so you could try it as a natural repellant.
  • Your fridge smells amazing when you use vanilla extract to clean it.
  • A splash goes well in cocktails ...
  • And little bottles of homemade vanilla extract make beautiful Christmas gifts or shower/wedding favours!

Today Nelle and I met up with some friends at a gorgeous cafe ... the decor was really inspiring for vintage/crafty types. The cafe resides in an old house, and is really earthy and woody and  dark and has little nooks to hide yourself away with your caffeine of choice. Wow.

{I recommend the baklava. It washes down your coffee beautifully.} 

I instantly wanted to
a) go out and buy a slab of wood and make a table


b) kidnap Robbie for a romantic date in one of those little nooks. To talk about dreams and happinesses and travel to crazy cool places ...

While I'm thinking of romance, here's a really quick and easy and romantic recipe for you! Vanilla comes from an orchid ... and whether it's the amazing smell or the fact that orchids are just naturally sexy, vanilla has been a known aphrodisiac for centuries.

Vodka is also a known aphrodisiac, for obvious reasons.

Vanilla Extract
makes 250ml

The time
5 min prep + 1 month steeping

The ingredients
2 organic vanilla beans
250 ml vodka

The process
1. Put the 2 vanilla beans (whole, unsplit) into a sterilised* bottle. Pour the vodka over.

2. Put the lid on your extract-to-be and put it in a dark cupboard for 1 month or so before you use it.**

3. Pour yourself and your hubby a martini.

*Simply wash your bottles in hot, soapy water then place into the oven at low heat till they dry.

**The alcohol part of the extract will evaporate off when you cook with it. So you won't get your kids drunk. 

The cost
The vanilla beans weren't organic but the guy at the natural foods shop knew where they came from and they were spray-free {it pays to shop in small places!} ... I got two for $5. The vodka was the cheapest one in a smallish bottle at $24 for 700mL {depending on where you live this may be significantly cheaper}. So my 250mL of extract cost me $13.50. The last organic vanilla extract I bought at the shop was 50mL for $17 ... I've saved myself something like $70 here  - and that's a few romantic dates' worth!

Hope to see you again soon with a functioning computer! :)
Amanda xx


  1. Have you been to They sell organic vanilla beans for prices that should be illegal! I bought 1/4 pound organic vanilla beans for just around $15. That's about 40 beans! You should check it out next time you're looking for some vanilla goodness.

  2. I have been meaning to do this for ages so thanks for the reminder. Hope your computer is ok? x

  3. Well, dears ... I attempted to install a new operating system and ...

    computer says no.

    On the plus side, my new empty reformatted harddrive runs ever so fast now ... :)

  4. yum. i have just read your last 3 posts in a row...i now need to make this vanilla extract, then use it to make cookies. i already have the cup of tea in my hand.

  5. I have a bottle of vodka with 15 beans for the last 7 months and it smells gorgeous. The longer you leave it, the better it gets. Almost worth drinking:))))


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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx